×




Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Martin Lockstrom, Shen Li, Shengrong Zhang. The Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing (referred as “Feng Dr” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Strategy & Execution. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, IPO, Product development, Supply chain.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment




Case Description of Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing Case Study


It was the cold winter of 2010 in Shanghai, and Dr. Zeb Feng was becoming increasingly frustrated. As procurement director for Asia at British Petroleum (BP), Dr. Feng was acutely aware of the growing burden that quality control imposed over his company's global operations. Chinese suppliers were masters of cost-cutting, but quality often suffered as a result, which led in turn to increasing needs for inspection and development efforts. Almost five years ago, Dr. Feng's company established an international procurement office (IPO) in Shanghai, which served as a shared service centre for internal customers throughout the BP organization worldwide. Since that time, the IPO had been mainly sourcing non-hydrocarbon goods and services, such as manufacturing equipment and materials, packaging, catalysts, chemicals and additives, marketing products and retail equipment, as well as drilling services and well-completion services. After a corporate board meeting with Christina De Luca, the vice-president of procurement and supply-chain management for BP's downstream operations, it had been decided that the company would start to enhance its global competitive sourcing. As the number one supplier market in the world, China was naturally highly prioritized for further exploration. The pressing point that concerned Dr. Feng was whether Chinese suppliers were sufficiently ready to supply mission-critical supplies for oil drilling, extraction and refining. During a recent conference call, De Luca had reiterated, "Zeb, our competitors are way ahead of us in their sourcing operations, and they have achieved much lower costs. We've got to do something!" Dr. Feng put down the receiver and went back to his office to gather his team for a planning meeting. He knew that supply quality was the key issue, but how could it be resolved?


Case Authors : Martin Lockstrom, Shen Li, Shengrong Zhang

Topic : Strategy & Execution

Related Areas : IPO, Product development, Supply chain




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10000169) -10000169 - -
Year 1 3468789 -6531380 3468789 0.9434 3272442
Year 2 3961275 -2570105 7430064 0.89 3525521
Year 3 3971737 1401632 11401801 0.8396 3334747
Year 4 3242588 4644220 14644389 0.7921 2568433
TOTAL 14644389 12701143


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2700974

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Payback Period
2. Profitability Index
3. Net Present Value
4. Internal Rate of Return

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Feng Dr shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.
2. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Feng Dr have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.




Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Strategy & Execution Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Feng Dr often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Feng Dr needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10000169) -10000169 - -
Year 1 3468789 -6531380 3468789 0.8696 3016338
Year 2 3961275 -2570105 7430064 0.7561 2995293
Year 3 3971737 1401632 11401801 0.6575 2611482
Year 4 3242588 4644220 14644389 0.5718 1853960
TOTAL 10477073


The Net NPV after 4 years is 476904

(10477073 - 10000169 )






Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10000169) -10000169 - -
Year 1 3468789 -6531380 3468789 0.8333 2890658
Year 2 3961275 -2570105 7430064 0.6944 2750885
Year 3 3971737 1401632 11401801 0.5787 2298459
Year 4 3242588 4644220 14644389 0.4823 1563748
TOTAL 9503750


The Net NPV after 4 years is -496419

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9503750 - 10000169 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Feng Dr to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.



Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Feng Dr has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Feng Dr can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Feng Dr, then the stock price of the Feng Dr should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Feng Dr should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.




References & Further Readings

Martin Lockstrom, Shen Li, Shengrong Zhang (2018), "Quality Management in the Oil Industry: How BP Greases Its Machinery for Frictionless Sourcing Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.